Some have branded Daniel ‘arrogant’ and ‘egotistical’ for merely sharing his experience (Picture: Dave Benett/Getty Images for Netflix)
In the interview with British GQ, the Skins star explained how he was asked to appear in a fashion campaign but that he would feature alongside white actors whose accolades didn’t stack up against his impressive resume.
‘I said no to them. I didn’t understand it. If it’s not a (big) yeah, it’s a no,’ Daniel explained.
‘They wanted to put me against two white actors that hadn’t achieved as much as me.
The British actor’s breakout role in Get Out propelled him to fame globally (Picture: PA)
Let’s not forget Daniel is an actual Oscar winner (Picture: Getty Images)
His credits include Marvel’s Black Panther, pictured here alongside Michael B Jordan (l) (Picture: Marvel)
‘And I was all, “I wanna be on my own. Because that’s not gonna look good.”
‘I’ve done things. I just feel like I have a certain position. It’s not like, “Oh, I’m so cool.” I’m just like, “I don’t like that.” It’s got to be because of what it means because I want to be out there and make sure I’m representing right.’
Daniel then spoke about why he refuses to ‘dim’ his light or ‘shrink’ himself to make others ‘feel comfortable’ which is something, as a Black person living in the UK, myself and many others have experienced all too often.
It’s about finding the right balance; not coming across as too assertive for fear that is perceived as aggressive but then wanting to be proud of your achievements and making sure they are respected by others.
Yet this seems to have been missed by many, and the discourse around Daniel Kaluuya’s candid interview about his career has been horrible.
Some have branded Daniel ‘arrogant’ and ‘egotistical’ for merely sharing his experience.
In my career, I’ve experienced a white person literally questioning my position and how I got there and, no doubt, Daniel felt his professional journey was being diminished as well.
This is why he brought up race when explaining that particular anecdote – because it’s highly unlikely other Oscar winners like Brad Pitt or Christian Bale would be asked to star in an advert with lesser-known stars at the height of their careers.
Daniel Kaluuya’s comments were grossly taken out of context (Picture: WireImage)
The problem is, if he simply accepted that opportunity without standing up for what he deserves, Daniel would not only make it harder for himself to receive better opportunities like his non-white peers, but other rising stars of the same background would also struggle down the line, thus creating a cycle.
Unfortunately, not everyone has understood this as Daniel’s comments have been infuriatingly taken at face value.
Dazfromsomerset wrote on X: ‘Can you imagine this if it was said by a white man.’
Put some respect on Daniel’s name (Picture: PA)
MasterBigBean claimed on Reddit: ‘Seriously. It wasn’t that long ago that Jordan Peele HANDED him his career on a silver platter. You’d think he’d still have some humility.’
Chicken-n-Biscuits wrote: ‘I read it several times and couldn’t really follow his reasoning. If he’s going to have a position related to his level of achievement, he should at least be able to articulate it without sounding like a complete idiot.’
MinfulTie said: ‘Seriously, imagine if white actors had said the same b******t when he was cutting his teeth as a young actor. It’s elitist and racist.’
Again, completely missing the point that white actors likely wouldn’t have been expected to dim their light in the way Daniel would.
More from Platform
Platform is the home of Metro.co.uk’s first-person and opinion pieces, devoted to giving a platform to underheard and underrepresented voices in the media.
Find some of our best reads of the week below:
As part of Degrees of Separation, our ongoing series on family estrangement, Han-Son Lee reflects on the casual cruelty of his father, their non-existent relationship, and how he felt when his dad passed away.
With rising childcare costs forcing more and more people to rely on their parents for babysitting advice, Kat Romero insists that she’ll never put pressure on her mum and dad to help look after her son.
Rebecca Gossage shares the devastating account of her father’s death after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and the failures at various levels of the NHS that saw him unable to receive proper treatment.
And finally, in our latest ‘So, How Did It Go’ feature on noteworthy first dates, Helen Aitchison recounts an experience involving a catfish, a kiss, and a lot of toothpaste.
Case in point, Oscar-nominated actress Taraji P Henson just weeks ago told us about the pay disparity regarding The Color Purple, a Black-centric film in which she plays a lead.
Not only has Taraji, 53, not received a pay rise in several years, but the cast of the movie were allegedly expected to drive themselves to set, share a dressing room and go without substantial food until producer Oprah Winfrey stepped in to help.
We only found out about these incidents with Daniel and Taraji because they spoke out – can you imagine what else is going on behind the scenes that we don’t hear of?
There will always be a group whose voices are louder than the rest, but in speaking out and attracting the reaction he did, Daniel proved why it’s so necessary to speak out and, more importantly, refuse to dim your light for anyone.
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